Chicago Home Buyer's Utopia: Resources — Real Estate Tips

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Touching up your home can hike sale price

Now that you have decided to join the ranks of many homeowners who have placed their homes on the market, there are dozens of things you can do to make yours more attractive than those of the competition. Many are inexpensive, easy improvements that also will help you net top dollar in return. Because first impressions usually are the most lasting, start outside with curb appeal. Make the front so fresh and inviting that your house literally forces prospects to come inside and see more.

  • Walks and driveways should be clear of grass cuttings in warm weather or snow and ice in the winter. Shaggy shrubs should be trimmed and lawn cut neatly and free of fallen leaves and litter. Dead shrubs should be removed and, if possible, replaced.
  • If you have a garage, keep the door closed. And if it’s full of everything from garden equipment to junk, put everything you need or want in its place and throw out the rest. You’ll do this when you move anyway, so do it now and show an uncluttered, roomy garage.
  • Wash the windows so they sparkle as they do in a television commercial, and replace broken window panes and torn screens.
  • The front door should look impressive so paint it if you must. Also, touch up the rough spots on the house and gutters and paint if they need it. You might even consider adding shutters if you don’t already have them.
  • If the entire exterior of the home needs a paint job, spring for it. New paint may not add much value, but old paint detracts from eye appeal.